Whilst searching our transcriptions of Milton Abbas documents for GERRARD it is surprising just how many different spellings of this name there are.
The Oxford Names Companion gives: GARRATT, GARRIT, GARRED, GARRAD, GERRETT, GERATT, GERRAD, JARRETT, JARRATT, JERRITT, JARRED, JARAD, JERRATT, JEREATT, JERRED, GARRARD, GERRARD, GARRARD, JARRARD, JERRARDM GARROULD, GARROD, GERALD, GEROLD, JARROLD, JERROLD ……. An exhausting if not exhaustive list. Quite a challenge for any family historian!
Not all of these occur in our Milton Abbas records, thank goodness!
The name was first introduced into England following the Norman Conquest. It has Germanic roots: geri or gari meaning spear and wald rule.
The first occurrence in Milton Abbas is in our transcription of the Churchwarden’s Accounts for the year 1662 when “Gerrads Boy for a fetchetts head” was paid 2d. A fetchett was what we now call a ferret. The accounts are full of names paid for various vermin.
We have two correspondents doing family research on their GERRARD ancestors of Milton Abbas.
We have researched the vermin caught in Milton Abbas elsewhere.